FAIRVIEW, Mo. — A Friday evening meeting brings more than 120 people to Fairview to learn about a lawsuit aimed at stopping agricultural waste dumping.
When Taryn Tyler and her husband moved to a new home near Fairview, they were chasing a dream.
“We bought the property with dreams of having a sustainable agricultural business,” said Taryn Tyler, SLUDGE Committee.
But that all changed.
“With the concerns of the runoff, just from the surrounding fields that are being land-applied with sludge, we are concerned with what could be running off onto our field,” said Tyler.
The lagoon she’s referring to is used to store agricultural waste, and a group of residents called “Stop Land Use Damaging Our Ground and Environment,” or SLUDGE, has filed a lawsuit aimed at changing how that’s done.
“In Missouri, there’s the Missouri Solid Waste Management law, which requires solid waste processing facilities to get the certain types of solid waste permits,” said Steve Jeffery, Jeffery Law Group.
Steve Jeffery of Jeffery Law Group, who represents “SLUDGE,” says the state Department of Natural Resources has never required that permit for certain lagoons, like the one in Fairview.
“The main point of the lawsuit is to have the court order the DNR to direct Denali to cease operations until they get the appropriate type of permits,” said Jeffery.
Friday night’s meeting was an informational one, letting other residents know what SLUDGE is trying to accomplish.
Along with those residents, State Senators Jill Carter and Mike Moon, and State Representative Dirk Deaton were in attendance.
Jeffery says issues like this are deeply personal to people.
“They affect people’s lives, they affect their health, their kids’ health, their property values, these are things that people care about, and I think the turnout of this group tonight demonstrates that fact,” said Jeffery.
Tyler says while she’s encouraged by the large turnout, she knows there’s a long road ahead before reaching a solution.
“This isn’t something that just impacts us that live right next to these lagoons, this impacts every person that eats food in America. This stuff is being applied to crops that feed us or feed the animals that feed us,” said Tyler.